Nattering Nabobs of Negativism

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
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I hate nutpunches and the fact that the Red Sox are 5-13 over the last two weeks as much as anyone, but if the season were to end today, they'd be an AL wildcard and play Baltimore. We are two games out of first place.

Last year, on July 31, the Sox were 46-58, 13 games back, in last place.

That is not a sell situation.
 

TheoShmeo

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I don't think the Sox will be sellers. I think they will add one more piece, probably a reliever. But with the amount of games they have on the road the rest of the way, maintaining their hold on a playoff spot, much winning the division, will be a tall task. Not impossible, but still tall. In short, those who are negative have what to base it on.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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This isn't at all a sell-now situation.

But it isn't a buy-now situation, either.

DDski has done a fine job bringing in the pieces thought to be needed for the Sox to be contenders. He got the best starter known to be available on the market to fill the team's most glaring need, he got a "proven closer" for the bullpen depleted by injuries, and he got two "bats" to fill out the bench that's also been depleted by injuries. And the injuries aren't a meaningful excuse, because every player who could have expected to put up more than 2.5 WAR has stayed relatively healthy.

It's now up to the players to play up to their capabilities, and up to the managers and coaches to help them do that.

The Sox play 6 of their last 7 series against the Jays (6 games, -2.0 back), Orioles (7 games, -0.5 back), and MFYs (7 games, +4.5 ahead). Assuming the Sox stay within the AL East cluster, it's going to come down to which team can clinch in September.
 

NoXInNixon

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I look around the AL and there isn't a team clearly better than the Red Sox. They have a great shot to win the division and will be a scary team to face in the playoffs if they get there. You can get me off this bandwagon when you pry it from my cold, dead hands, to horribly mix two metaphors.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Looking realistically at the rest of the schedule, I think the Sox would have to get blazing hot in August to have a shot at the division crown--and "blazing hot", given our schedule, would probably translate to something like an 18-12 record for the month, meaning (assuming we win tonight) we'd wake up on September 1 with a 75-58 record -- same winning percentage Baltimore currently owns. Which means that Toronto, which has a much easier August schedule, would probably have increased their lead a bit by then if anything. Which in turn means that we'd pretty much have to win both our remaining series with Toronto, and at least 4 of our 7 remaining games with Baltimore, to win the division. None of which is impossible, but it's two pretty substantial lifts, one to get into a position where the September intradivisional games matter, and then another to take advantage of that.

I agree with BP: we certainly shouldn't sell. We probably shouldn't buy. Or at least not buy anything too expensive.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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I look around the AL and there isn't a team clearly better than the Red Sox. They have a great shot to win the division and will be a scary team to face in the playoffs if they get there. You can get me off this bandwagon when you pry it from my cold, dead hands, to horribly mix two metaphors.
You also split an infinitive.

If the two major deadline acquisitions for the Sox are Craig Kimbrel and Chris Young, they've improved the team considerably.
 

BestGameEvah

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Kimbrel will join the team in Seattle and Young is amping up his baseball activities & supposedly will go out on a rehab assignment in the next 7-10 days.
The guys just have to play better. Their goals should be a little more short-sighted.... like winning every inning.
Better situational hitting for starters. We get 'em on....it's the getting 'em over and getting 'em in lately that has us all in a frenzied state.
And just as a side note, another manager put one of his players in the cleanup spot yesterday for the first time.
Madden with Javier Baez. 0-4! Love it.
 

Clears Cleaver

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DD has done a fine job? At what? Price sucks. Pomeranz has sucked. Kimbrel has sucked. Smith got hurt after an inning. Hill has sucked. Ziegler has been ok.

He inherited a stacked farm system, a young nucleus and future payroll flexibility and his acquisitions have been at best a disaster. Kudos for trying?

Edit: I think Farrell is a problem. Never seen a team struggle to make winning plays (big pitch, on the bases, in the field, late/close at bats) than this team. A reflection of the manager or the character of the players? I don't know
 

NoXInNixon

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Price is a lot of things, but sucks isn't one of them. He might not be exactly earning his massive contract, but he's one of the twenty best starting pitchers in baseball.
 

NoLastCall125

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DD has done a fine job? At what? Price sucks. Pomeranz has sucked. Kimbrel has sucked. Smith got hurt after an inning. Hill has sucked. Ziegler has been ok.
How is this actually DD's fault though? DD signed the best free agent pitcher on the market, got the best available closer without domestic abuse charges, traded a middle of the rotation starter for cost controlled years of an electric reliever, got a starting pitcher who, a few days prior, represented his previous team in the all-star game and got another closer and backup infielder without denting the farm system.

This shouldn't be on DD - he's given the Sox an opportunity to be one of the best teams in baseball. At this point, it's on the players and the coaching staff to actually perform.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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Price is a lot of things, but sucks isn't one of them. He might not be exactly earning his massive contract, but he's one of the twenty best starting pitchers in baseball.
No, stop the madness. Price has not been a top-20 pitcher this year, even if fangraph's algorithms thinks he has been.

Baseball-Reference has him #59th among pitchers in WAR, which seems about right. He's pitched average, like a decent #3 starter.

[EDIT: For the record, I wanted Cueto at less money...but I still don't believe DDski should get dinged for choosing Price. So long as it's not health-related in a way that should have been caught during due diligence, only David and the Red Sox managerial staff bear responsibility for his underperformance.]
 
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CoffeeNerdness

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How is this actually DD's fault though? DD signed the best free agent pitcher on the market, got the best available closer without domestic abuse charges, traded a middle of the rotation starter for cost controlled years of an electric reliever, got a starting pitcher who, a few days prior, represented his previous team in the all-star game and got another closer and backup infielder without denting the farm system.

This shouldn't be on DD - he's given the Sox an opportunity to be one of the best teams in baseball. At this point, it's on the players and the coaching staff to actually perform.
I think on some level it's on him because he's staffed a manager and coaches who have a poor track record of acquisitions performing badly. It's hard not to see new players underperforming as a systemic issue for the Red Sox. I don't see there being any magic bullet such as a firing that would reverse this trend, but in my opinion it is a top priority to fix this issue.

That said I wouldn't mind if they canned Willis and promoted Bannister. The staff is too talented to be this impotent. Something about their approach is sorely lacking. I remember earlier in the season reading about how their philosophy was to pitch to a hitter's weakness rather that with the pitcher's strengths. Maybe that's a failed methodology.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Because none of those guys are what you described them as. Price stats objectively look fine. 3.2 war, 3.19 fip etc. except he pitches like a loser, unable to get big outs in close games. His best pitching this year has come when team is way ahead or when he's fallen behind early in games.

Pomeranz jury is out but nothing I've seen in his starts suggests he's a top of the rotation guy. His stuff is average except when gets his curve over, his fastball control is below average and he looks like he is afraid of the spotlight. Should be fun watching him against Toronto and Baltimore. He was acquired after 4 months of quality career pitching as a starter.

Smith was an high injury risk. He got injured.

Kimbrel is not a guy I will ever trust because he can't control his fastball. And he's been very mediocre this year. And now is hurt.

DD spent $40m on price and clay. Was that a good use of money? We're any of these moves good? Not his fault because he was unlucky or because he made mistakes. Sorry, but any buffoon could have done these moves (outspend or overpay) and none of them has proven prescient. Blame scouts who got every one of these wrong so far?

The Sox are getting 18+ WAR from six players who combined don't make $4m. And are getting great seasons from Porcello, Pedroia and Ortiz. Those players alone if you annualize their seasons and add replacement level to rest of the team (40 wins) gets you to 86-88 wins). Yet it feels like the sox will be lucky to keep their current pace to win 89 games. I guess what I'm saying is that DD inherited 9 players who this year would win 87 games with 16 replacement level teammates and they are on pace to win 89. And he traded two top 30 prospects, two other Sox top 15 prospects, added $60m in payroll for those two wins.

It's incredible a team that has mookie, x, JBJ, Ortiz, shaw, Pedroia, and wright under contract for barely $35m is not a front runner to win its division and league.
 

EricFeczko

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I'm curious, who would've been your replacements for Pomeranz, Price, and Clay? Please justify the price in the context of the current market for starting pitching.

The primary reason the Sox have underperformed is because all but one (perhaps two) of the in-house starters have collectively pitched at a historically horrific level. Therefore, if your option was to not do the Price and Pomeranz deals, we'd surely miss the playoffs and may have fallen apart by the end of the season.
 

Curt S Loew

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Because none of those guys are what you described them as. Price stats objectively look fine. 3.2 war, 3.19 fip etc. except he pitches like a loser, unable to get big outs in close games. His best pitching this year has come when team is way ahead or when he's fallen behind early in games.
Missed his last start, huh?
 

Clears Cleaver

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Missed his last start, huh?
He was awesome again tonight. Again Except the whole "win the game" part. Of course DD's deadline acquisition lost the game, but Price had a four run lead and gave up four straight hits. Rinse, lather....

Or blame Farrell.

It's just discouraging when the team has two straight incredible wins and the "ace" on the mound with a 4-run lead in the 8th inning and it's gone in like15 pitches.
 

Rasputin

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He was awesome again tonight. Again Except the whole "win the game" part. Of course DD's deadline acquisition lost the game, but Price had a four run lead and gave up four straight hits. Rinse, lather....

Or blame Farrell.

It's just discouraging when the team has two straight incredible wins and the "ace" on the mound with a 4-run lead in the 8th inning and it's gone in like15 pitches.
It very much is.

I really wonder if the knee started to tighten up. He was fine the first inning after it happened, but the second was the suck.
 

Curt S Loew

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He was awesome again tonight. Again Except the whole "win the game" part. Of course DD's deadline acquisition lost the game, but Price had a four run lead and gave up four straight hits. Rinse, lather....

Or blame Farrell.

It's just discouraging when the team has two straight incredible wins and the "ace" on the mound with a 4-run lead in the 8th inning and it's gone in like15 pitches.
This thread lay dormant until last night's start. Last night indeed was discouraging, but my point still stands in regards to your comments. You conveniently left out that start, and didn't comment until this latest one, which narrowly fit your narrative.
 

Remagellan

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I was devastated by last night. But I suggest whenever someone feels bad about a tough loss, take a look at the remaining schedule. Yes, there are a lot of road games, but the whole schedule is the two teams above us at the moment and then almost all games against teams that were sellers in the past week. If we start taking care of business, we should win the division. In other words, "Hey Red Sox, DO YOUR JOB."
 

Tyrone Biggums

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I'm curious about something. Would some of you rather have Cherrington over DD? I think DD has made some really good moves on paper that just haven't worked out for one reason or another. He's probably not the type of GM who will stack the farm system and protect the top 20 prospects in the Sox farm system but if the team has holes he's not afraid to go out and plug them. It's not like he gave up Moncada for anyone either.

Price has been disappointing but I don't think there's anything physically wrong with him. K/9 is still very good, velocity is the same. Luck is an overused word but I think in this case it does boil down to luck. Has he been a top 20 pitcher this year? No. Maybe more like top 30. However, I am optimistic the deal will work out for Boston due to the fact the stuff is still there.
 

DJnVa

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Thank God baseball is a long season with so many games. Chance tonight to get right back on track.
Yeah, that thing got out of control so quick--that's baseball. After our last 2 wins though, I guess karma decided to slap us around for a night. Two out of last 3...keep doing that and the Manila Metric says we're golden!